Our leaders exploit racial tensions

When was the last time a national leader did anything to improve race relations? Racial tensions spike after incidents such as George Zimmerman shooting Trayvon Martin, but if leaders get involved, they usually stoke the hostility, not ease it, milking the crisis to help themselves personally or politically.

Many black people think that racism isn't as extinguished as most whites assume; many of the latter would likely be surprised by research showing that “three-quarters of whites have an implicit pro-white/anti-black bias,” as Project Implicit found. In another article, I discussed how Oxford University researchers found a way to reduce that bias. If you know physiology and are logical, you can easily think of ways to extrapolate from those findings and suggest additional ways to mitigate racial bias. Leaders should do this; if they aren't sufficiently knowledgeable, they should appoint experts to help them help others overcome their innate bias.

I once assumed that racism was extinguished in everyone except Neanderthals, but I began to reconsider that opinion after a paramedic told me that some of his co-workers intentionally murdered black patients. I wrote about that in one of my websites and later another one, expecting that shockingly heinous conduct to get the attention it deserved, going viral with everyone talking about it and how we could root out similar acts, 99.999% of which go unreported. However, people evidently had better things to do: watch sports and gossip about celebrities, so I anonymously reported it to the NAACP, thinking they had a vested interest in combating such terrible racial hate crimes. I gave them my e-mail address so they could contact me; I assumed they would surely want to see the evidence the paramedic gave to me, but I never heard from them. I contacted them at a time when I was primarily conservative, so I worried they would use the paramedic racial murders for political purposes, but I was more concerned with doing the right thing than thinking about political expediency.

After I began to reconsider if racism were truly as rare as I assumed, I became more attuned to spotting evidence of racial antipathy, which wasn't difficult to find. From this, I concluded that racism is less cured than it is swept under the rug. That isn't surprising because the juvenile way America approaches racism and political correctness in general is actually counterproductive in many ways, breeding resentment that exacerbates racism while creating social pressure to camouflage it and bias which, as Project Implicit showed, many people possess.

Read how the PC police attacked Dr. Lazar Greenfield and ask yourself if the venomous over-the-top bashing of him did anything except instill fear in others so they walk on eggshells 24/7/365. Since people want to have the freedom to be human—which means being occasionally imperfect—they are bound to resent others who try to enforce an unrealistic standard of perfection 100% of the time. That resentment erodes the desire to empathize with others—“put yourself in the shoes of others” empathy that makes people truly not want to hurt others with an insensitive comment.

Most people want good relationships with their neighbors, but if you knew that a single minor mistake dealing with them gave others the right (in their minds) to try ruining your life by depicting you as a terrible person, would that increase your fondness for your neighbors and a desire to harmonize with them? No, it would create a resentful tension that led to more alienation: emotional isolation and disaffection. That split would create more tension that heightened the chance of future hostility. Recognize the parallels between that and American race relations/political correctness?

Related topics

The lies of NBC, MSNBC, and Fox News help tighten the nooses around the necks of sheeple

Using “black” instead of “African-American”

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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